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How to Make a Blog Post Go Viral

How to Make a Blog Post Go Viral

Writing blog posts are a beneficial way for a single person, business, or organization to gain exposure. Usually there is a certain goal in mind when choosing to start blogging, such as raising awareness, generating sales, or becoming a branding platform. Consistent, unique, and informative blog posts can help with accomplishing those goals when done the right way.

Getting your blog post to go viral is not always possible, but there are some general guidelines that can help increase your chances. Blogs have become as important to the Internet as any other information gathering platform online. While it’s true that blogs are a beneficial resource, some are wondering, “How do I cull an audience and ensure people are reading my posts?” After all, who wants to write for an empty room?

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So the question is, “How do I make my blog go viral?” That’s a good question, and I’ve got some good answers.

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Consider This Question Before You Even Begin Writing

Is the blog topic I’m choosing viral worthy?

  • Choosing a viral worthy blog topic means choosing a topic that isn’t covered too frequently. There’s a slim chance a blog post will go viral if it’s only filled with information that’s been seen numerous times. If you do decide to cover a popular topic, it’s your job to make it fresh for your readers. Otherwise, why would they read your blog when there are 10 more posts just like it? Take the topic and show it in a light it has never been shown in before. This could be tricky if you’re writing for a niche audience, but doing the proper research or performing case studies could help make your post unique. Research will aid in providing you with useful content, such as statistics. It’s a good idea to include a piece of that research in the title. A shocking statistic will get your audience to open the post, and the content will make them want to share it.
  • Do it Better: If your topic is well-known and widely written about, find a hole in the available information and fill it. Finding the most shared content is easy with sites like BuzzSumo.com and Ahrefs.com’s content explorer.
  • Be Relatable: It is important for your readers to feel as though you understand them and the topic. This audience is following your blog for a reason. Make sure you’re staying true to why they started following you in the first place. For example, if your blog is about technology, stay up to date with the latest technology news and information, but also share your opinions and encourage them to share theirs. Honesty and transparency will make your readers feel connected, and they will return because of that connection. Assuming some of the people in the readers’ lives may have similar interests and feelings, they could then share with them.

This may seem obvious, but not everyone is doing it. If they were, every blog would be viral. This first question is worth considering. Without fresh, useful information and a connected audience, your blog will not be successful for long.

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Consider These Questions When Publishing the Blog Post

Are you sharing and promoting your blog properly?

  • If you, your business, or organization has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any other forms of social media, you should share the blog on those outlets. The followers you have on those outlets are a good start for the blog’s exposure. Once you’ve got a captive audience, you only need to put out great content in order to go viral—easy right?
  • If your blog post has high resolution photos, which it definitely should, it’s important to make sure they’re compatible with the social media outlets you decide to use. Examples include Instagram and Pinterest. Try to use one of the main photos from your blog on Instagram and then place the link in the caption. When it comes to Pinterest, make sure the photo you choose is visually pleasing. Pinterest is most popular for image viewing. If the image is attractive, users will be more likely to click on the photo that leads to the blog post.
  • Twitter is another outlet to be thinking about. With a limited amount of characters allowed, you want to be smart about what you choose to write in front of the blog link. A good idea is to grab an interesting quote from the blog post that will be intriguing for your followers. A little sneak peak of what the blog has to offer could help attract your followers, who could possibly even retweet it. Using a hashtag that relates to the topic is also helpful. People who typically view that hashtag for updates on that topic will have better access to it.
  • Share your posts with your network. Whether they are fellow bloggers, your mentor, or your kids, if what you have to offer is beneficial to them or their network they will be happy to share it. Remember to return the favor. Good sharing karma is important. You can’t expect your network to share and endorse your work without reciprocation.
  • Reach out to relevant organizations or businesses that may relate to your post. An email pitch introducing yourself and why your post is relevant for their followers could encourage them to share it on their social media accounts. You can even give them a mention in the blog post before reaching out to them.

Is your blog SEO friendly?

  • If people are purposely going to a search engine to learn about the topic your blog is written about, you want to make sure that your blog has a chance of being seen. Be sure to use headings. Headings help to inform Google of the main topic of the post. Subheadings are beneficial for the readers. They allow readers to skim the blog post and choose which sections interest them most.
  • Do some keyword research. Using specific keywords that have high search volume within your blog post will help your blog appear when those keywords are searched. There are a number of keyword research tools that can help. Google’s Keyword Planner is one of the most popular and easy to use.  Knowing which keywords readers are searching for will help to shape your content, header tags, and title tags. Your blog won’t be going viral if it can’t be found. Further SEO consultation could help to ensure your blogs are always SEO friendly.

When writing a blog post that you hope will go viral, consider asking yourself the questions above. Depending on the quality of the post, it could go viral without having to use everything listed, but try including everything for the best results. You might as well give all these ideas a shot. You never know, maybe something you create will eventually be seen by millions. If and when it reaches that point, it’s in your best interest to follow some guidelines. The site Always Found states the most important guidelines are “be ready, stay on brand, and take context into account.” These guidelines can apply to both attempted viral marketing and unexpected viral marketing. Either way, it’s important to take advantage of the moment.

Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/ via pexels.com

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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